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Most Googled “dog” questions

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Google it!

Ah, our trusted Google .. want the answer to something?  We’ll Google it!  But what are the most Googled dog questions we ask about our trusted furry friend?   Here are some of the most asked dog questions on Google: 

Why do dogs eat grass?

Great dog question.  Why would you want to?  Well, it seems there are 2 reasons.  The first one is because your dog likes it.  It’s a bit like having a side salad to us.   Some nutrition experts suggest it may be to make up for a deficit in their diet.  But it seems some dogs just like the taste! 

The second reason is instinctive.   Some dogs eat grass to make them throw food up that has made them feel ill.   This type of grass eating tends to be where they eat grass quickly without really chewing it.  The long grass tickles their throat to make them throw up, getting rid of anything they’ve eaten that didn’t agree with them. 

Do dogs dream?

Well, heck yes!!   Tests measuring their brain activity during sleep suggests dogs have REM (rapid eye movement), just like us humans.   So if you’ve ever seen your dog’s paws twitch, or hear them bark in their sleep, chances are they are chasing rabbits .. or dreaming of food. 

Why do dogs howl?

There are quite a few reasons why your dog may feel the need to make his voice heard.   

1) It’s just what they do – it’s in their genetic code.   In the background they are related to wolves after all.  So they may not know why they’re doing it, … just that they feel they need to (even if the neighbours don’t agree!)

2) To communicate with other members of the pack, or other animals.   And yes, that includes you! 

3) They’re feeling poorly – they may use their “voice” to get heard if they’re not feeling quite themselves.  If you notice a difference in the way that your dog is communicating, get them to the vet for a quick check-over 

4) Separation anxiety – in the wild they’ll be calling for their pack members.   In our world, they’re calling for us.  

Why do dogs have whiskers?

In short, whiskers are the long hairs on your dog’s muzzle, jaw and above their eyes.  The follicles of these hairs are jam-packed with nerves, sending messages to your dog’s brain.   So any movement near the whiskers, such as touch or air, sends vital signals to their brain.  It can help them negotiate in darker conditions as well as figure out the shape of certain objects, or if they can squeeze themselves through small spaces (well OK, this method is not always fool proof..).   The whiskers on their eyes are thought to play an important part in protecting their eyes. The slightest touch on the whiskers will cause them to blink, protecting anything from getting in their eyes. 

Why do dogs chase their tail?

We’ve all seen it and had a good laugh about it.  But what’s the reason?   Here are a few: 

1) they’re bored.   They may just want to play or burn off some energy.  Puppies have a tendency to do this more than older dogs.  Potentially because they’ve not quite figured out yet that their tail is a part of them! 

2) Attention!  As we said, we’ve all had a good laugh about a dog chasing their tail.   They know you’re bound to pay attention to them if they start this fun activity! 

3) Something’s up – If your dog is persistently trying to chase their tail, they may have an itchy bottom.   Time for a trip to the vet to get it checked out as they may be suffering from worms or fleas. 

4) It’s just what they do – some breeds are more prone to tail-chasing than others.  In particular German Shepherds and Terriers.  No-one quite knows why, it’s just in their genes. 

5) Behavioural problems – some dogs may have developed a compulsion to chase their tail – previous abuse or neglect, past injury or trauma and separation anxiety are all factors that can contribute to this behaviour.   Speak to a behavioural expert for advice. 

How do you clean a dog's ears?

Whatever you do, don’t use cotton swabs as they can damage your dog’s ears.  Use cotton wool balls instead. 

Apply cleanser (no antibiotics, steroids, alcohol based, unless advised by your vet) 

Gentle massage the base of the ear to really massage in the solution 

Wipe off the accessible part of your dog’s ear with the cotton wool ball.   Let your dog shake their head to get rid of anything inside the ear.   Use a new, clean cotton wool ball to dab the inner ear, but gently only and don’t apply any pressure or push into the ear canal. 

Excessive cleaning can be damaging, so aim for approximately once a week (unless instructed otherwise by your vet). 

 

Why are dog's noses wet?

Yes, what’s up with that?  Actually, there are a few reasons why your dog’s sniffer is wet; 

1) it secretes a mucous.   No wait, it’s not as gross as you think!   To help your dog get a scent, their nose creates a mucous that helps to absorb chemicals from the scent.  This in turn helps them to smell things better. 

2) They lick their nose .. and I mean a lot … Why? Well, it may be to get rid of food or other stuff they’ve been digging in.  It also helps to control their temperature as some of the sweat glands are found in their nose.  They also lick off the above-mentioned mucous (is that word still grossing you out too?) to get it on their glands on the roof of their mouth.   For more interesting facts on nose licking, check out this article

How do you stop a dog from digging?

Digging is just something that some dogs so.   Not all dogs, but a lot of them just love to have a good old dig around in the dirt.   Once they’ve got used to the habit, it’s difficult to get them to stop.  However, you can control it.  For a lot of dogs digging is just exercise.  Therefore, it may be that they are just working off some energy.   Making sure that your dog is well exercised and not bored is a great step towards controlling them digging up your well pruned garden.   

Another way is to dedicate a certain area where they ARE allowed to dig (look at it as a sand-pit for kids 🙂 and encourage them to use that area only.   Sternly tell them off every time they dig outside their dedicated area and return them to their sand-pit where they can dig to their heart’s content. 

Why do dogs bury their bone?

Even now they are domesticated, it comes down to instinct.   When dogs were wild and had to hunt, other dogs would be on the prowl to take it from them.  The easiest thing was to bury it to hide the scent and leave it until the coast was clear.   Sometimes the animal they killed may have been too big a feast to finish, so they’d keep it for another day.   In addition, burying it would keep it cool and away from the heat of the sun.  

There are a few other reasons, such as feeling bored.   Or you may be giving them too much.  If they can’t finish their treat, they may want to save it for another time!

 

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